December 1, 2023

Athens News

News in English from Greece

"What kind of chicory?". How we underestimate a simple and affordable coffee substitute

Chicory is a plant from the dandelion family. It is often used as a caffeine-free and healthy alternative to coffee. And do not think that this is some kind of “old woman’s drink.” Don’t follow stereotypes. When you find out how tasty and healthy it is, you will forever change your attitude towards it.

Common chicory is a valuable honey plant, giving up to one centner of honey per hectare of thickets. The root of this perennial herbaceous plant, reaching 12-15 meters in length, contains about 50-75% polysaccharide inulinwhich allows it to be used in as a coffee substitute. Chicory is also used in traditional medicine: Avicenna wrote about its beneficial properties. In Greece it is known as Stamnagafi or Chicory is prickly. This very popular plant in Crete is an integral part of the Cretan cuisine and the Cretan diet.

motherland Chicory prickly (lat. Cichorium Spinosum) are Mediterranean countries, especially often this plant is found on the islands of Crete, Cyprus, Malta and Sicily. On Crete, stamnagafi can be found both in coastal areas (the most common habitats are Falasarna and Elafonisi), and high in the mountains, for example, on the Omalos plateau.

There are several subspecies of stamnagafi, each of which has adapted both to dry coastal conditions with strong winds and to the cool, humid climate of the highlands.

So, what is so useful chicory? It normalizes the intestinal microflora, prevents dysbacteriosis, strengthens the immune system. The drink promotes the absorption of vitamins and macronutrients. Medicines from chicory are used as choleretic, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory agents. Useful properties of chicory:

  • calms the nervous system, relieves stress,
  • lowers the pressure
  • cleanses the liver
  • increases appetite,
  • helps lower blood sugar levels
  • helps to lose weight
  • stabilizes the work of the heart,
  • preserves energy and muscle tone without harmful effects on the heart.

Chicory has an anti-inflammatory and choleretic effect, so it useful for pancreatitisi.e. disease of the pancreas. You can drink in the form of a decoction, infusion or tea.

A drink made from chicory is also useful for liver cirrhosis due to the high amount of inulin, resins and glycosides. A riboflavin, thiamine and ascorbic acid help clean up not only the liver, kidneys, but the body as a whole. Ho it is better to drink not an instant drink, but a decoction of grass, if desired, add honey.

Chicory root extract has anti-inflammatory properties and is effective in arthritis of various origins. And as everyone is well aware, in this disease, experts recommend cut down on coffeebecause he washes away calcium. Chicory in this case will be an excellent alternative.

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